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What is a Fred?

Old 01-04-17, 08:29 PM
  #26  
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I see these guys often around my neighborhood. Far outclasses my tee-shirt/shorts attire when on a bike:


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Old 01-04-17, 08:39 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Freds are fine. What you want to avoid becoming is a poseur.
Yes.

Everybody starts out as a fred. Some part of their bike or outfit isn't quite right so we call them a fred and we laugh at them. It's hard to escape the fred tag because, every time that you fix something, we just up the ante. For example, if you buy new clipless pedals and shoes, we'll mock you because they aren't the right style pedals. This can go on endlessly because there are a lot of details that we can point to while we are laughing at you.

If you worry about it for long enough and you have enough money to spend, you will eventually acquire all of the "right" kit, including matching helmet and current model year bike. There is nothing left for us to snicker over. Congratulations, you have just graduated into becoming a poseur. Now we are going to laugh at you for that.

There's no escape, so embrace your fred-dom.
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Old 01-04-17, 08:42 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by MikeinFL View Post
I see these guys often around my neighborhood. Far outclasses my tee-shirt/shorts attire when on a bike:

Those guys aren't "Freds". They're "Elders".
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Old 01-04-17, 08:47 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Those guys aren't "Freds". They're "Elders".
So a valid exemption of being a fred is when you are in uniform or official business attire. Ok with me
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Old 01-04-17, 08:51 PM
  #30  
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I am a Fred. A Fred is me.
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Old 01-04-17, 08:51 PM
  #31  
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Freds are what poseurs call non-poseurs.
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Old 01-04-17, 08:53 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Traditionally, a Fred was a rider who didn't care about having the latest equipment or looking pro. Fred was self-reliant and utilitarian. Commuters, tourers, and car-free folks tend to Fredness. Signs of Fredness include racks, frame pumps, fenders, lights and blinkies, unshaven legs. But because Fred rides year round and in all kinds of weather, Fred can ride you off his wheel.

The poseur, on the other hand, is all bike and no legs.
+1 Well stated.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Traditionally, a Fred was a rider who didn't care about having the latest equipment or looking pro. Fred was self-reliant and utilitarian. Commuters, tourers, and car-free folks tend to Fredness. Signs of Fredness include racks, frame pumps, fenders, lights and blinkies, unshaven legs. But because Fred rides year round and in all kinds of weather, Fred can ride you off his wheel.

The poseur, on the other hand, is all bike and no legs.
Yeah. I like this too. Very well-stated.

I'm thinking that sometimes ex-racers can sort of morph into Freds over time. This is what seems to be happening with me, as I start to fall more and more in love with fixing up old bikes. I'm going to buy a--horrors!--rack for my next vintage (as well as fenders), which I'm hoping to finally get my hands on tomorrow after haggling for 3 weeks or so.

Poseurs, on the other hand, tend to remain in state; immutable-like.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:13 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MikeinFL View Post
I see these guys often around my neighborhood. Far outclasses my tee-shirt/shorts attire when on a bike:

Oh yeah. The Mormon Missionaries qualify as honorary Freds. I don't really see that many on bikes anymore for some reason.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:40 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
Yeah. I like this too. Very well-stated.

I'm thinking that sometimes ex-racers can sort of morph into Freds over time. This is what seems to be happening with me, as I start to fall more and more in love with fixing up old bikes. I'm going to buy a--horrors!--rack for my next vintage (as well as fenders), which I'm hoping to finally get my hands on tomorrow after haggling for 3 weeks or so.

Poseurs, on the other hand, tend to remain in state; immutable-like.
Definitely. Some of the strongest racers I know tend to Fredness. They'll show up to the Saturday morning World Championships on their rain bikes with 32spoke box rim training wheels, frame pumps, fenders, and saddle bags. It's a function of needing to ride so much, in the weather, and not get stranded 50 miles from home.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:50 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I identify as a Fred. My bike has a bell and my legs are gloriously unshaven.
Me too. Toss in a 40 year old gaspipe ten speed bike, quarter fenders, and a bottle generator light setup for me!

IMO, the one sure identifier of a poseur is if your annual BF post count exceeds your annual mileage count. I'm sure there's at least a few of them on here somewhere.
Hey, I get paid to sit around a computer for 8 of my daylight hours! Much easier to sit around and post all day in my downtime than to ride a bike during that time!
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Old 01-05-17, 01:52 AM
  #37  
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There was another post somewhere here about this topic. Someone gave a link to a story of a guy named Freddie (I cannot remember his last name).
The post indicated the term derived from this man. This guy was a simple man working in a church part time. He wore sweats and non bike specific clothing. He did not have an Uber bike. He cycled everywhere and his total mileage had him circling the globe twice orEarth to Moon, I forget exactly.
The one thing in the linked article I do remember is that they described this man's appearance and then simply said "And he can kick your @$$"


I hope someone posts thelink to that story again as I would like to re read it.
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Old 01-05-17, 03:30 AM
  #38  
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I'm proud to call this Fred...https://miles4melanoma.com/freddiehoffman/.... my FRIEND! scroll down for a photo

Just for you mightymax
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Old 01-05-17, 06:35 AM
  #39  
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I am proud to be a Fred lol. I have single speeds and kiddie bell and although I dont have the draping saddle bags yet(that will be my next ride) I ride proudly down my streets doing 4-8 mph and I have no problem ignoring the rest of society as I cruise along haplessly encouraging my dementia lol.
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Old 01-05-17, 06:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Traditionally, a Fred was a rider who didn't care about having the latest equipment or looking pro. Fred was self-reliant and utilitarian. Commuters, tourers, and car-free folks tend to Fredness. Signs of Fredness include racks, frame pumps, fenders, lights and blinkies, unshaven legs. But because Fred rides year round and in all kinds of weather, Fred can ride you off his wheel.

The poseur, on the other hand, is all bike and no legs.
Best definition of a poseur I've heard yet.




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Old 01-05-17, 07:51 AM
  #41  
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In my mind, a Fred is someone who views cycling as riding a bike rather than as an athletic endeavor. The motivations for riding have more to do with recreation, transportation, tourism, or just pure enjoyment of being on a bike. They tend to emphasize high volume riding and don't care how they or their bikes look as long as everything is functional. Freds may have competitive personalities or they may not.

Contrast a Fred with more of a race-oriented type of cyclist, for whom cycling is a sport. The motivation for riding is to maximize performance relative to others. They tend to emphasize organized training over pure volume and view most rides as a workout with a specific training goal in mind. Bikes and gear must be functional but also high performance. There is a "look" in kit & gear that is an important part of the psychological warfare of racing and most of it has real functional significance- for example, flapping clothes are not worn because of the unnecessary drag that is created. Wheel and tires are optimized for the type of race or the days conditions. Racing cyclists by definition have competitive personalities.

A poseur I guess would be someone who emulates the racing type of cyclist but without racing or having a clue, with a tendency to emulate the "look" of a racing cyclist but perhaps without even understanding the rationale behind the gear & kit choices.

Most racing cyclists started as Freds so I think there is Fredly tendencies in most racing cyclists- perhaps the line will be drawn at a flapping vest, but the lure of just riding your bike is strong in most racing cyclists.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:03 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Definitely. It's a function of needing to ride so much, in the weather, and not get stranded 50 miles from home.

You called?
Don't forget the cheerful bell.

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Old 01-05-17, 08:08 AM
  #43  
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In my opinion:

Fred:
- buying an aggressive $6K racing road bike but then getting a massive riser on the stem to get the bars above the saddle
- Primal Wear "skeleton" jersey
- race fit Lycra when you're 40+ pounds overweight
- blowing through stop signs and annoying drivers
- wearing headphones on a group ride
- buying a ridiculously expensive bike but then taking it into the shop for basic maintenance or fixing a flat

Emphatically not Fred:
- buying a bike with a long head tube and setting the bars above the saddle because it's more comfortable
- a commuter bike with a hybrid steel frame, fenders, racks, improvised panniers and mirrors. Rider in practical clothing
- a well maintained department store bike
- riding around in non-cycling-specific clothing because it's simple and works
- riding slowly but carefully and with awareness on the road
- not giving a **** what people think about how you look on a bike or what kind of bike you're riding

In other words, to me Fred=poseur.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:25 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
IMO, the one sure identifier of a poseur is if your annual BF post count exceeds your annual mileage count. I'm sure there's at least a few of them on here somewhere.
uh oh
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Old 01-05-17, 08:31 AM
  #45  
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any "Fred" thread should at the very least pay a brief homage to the late great Sheldon Brown, proudest Fred in town ...

About My Helmet

Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information
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Old 01-05-17, 08:35 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Definitely. Some of the strongest racers I know tend to Fredness. They'll show up to the Saturday morning World Championships on their rain bikes with 32spoke box rim training wheels, frame pumps, fenders, and saddle bags. It's a function of needing to ride so much, in the weather, and not get stranded 50 miles from home.

This is so true. I've always been such a weigh-weenie minimalist/racer type and I'm now riding more "adventure." It just does not make sense, anymore, to just carry an extra tube in a tiny bag on my rides, which are becoming more extended and perhaps a bit less focused on training.

One thing, though, I do know and can state for all the world to see: I will never, ever wear one of those little mirrors no matter how "fred" I become!
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Old 01-05-17, 09:04 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Snuts View Post
Subscribed.

+1.


I think this is going to be a three tubber. Help yourselves!


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Old 01-05-17, 09:07 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
In my opinion:

Fred:
- buying an aggressive $6K racing road bike but then getting a massive riser on the stem to get the bars above the saddle
- Primal Wear "skeleton" jersey
- race fit Lycra when you're 40+ pounds overweight
- blowing through stop signs and annoying drivers
- wearing headphones on a group ride
- buying a ridiculously expensive bike but then taking it into the shop for basic maintenance or fixing a flat

Emphatically not Fred:
- buying a bike with a long head tube and setting the bars above the saddle because it's more comfortable
- a commuter bike with a hybrid steel frame, fenders, racks, improvised panniers and mirrors. Rider in practical clothing
- a well maintained department store bike
- riding around in non-cycling-specific clothing because it's simple and works
- riding slowly but carefully and with awareness on the road
- not giving a **** what people think about how you look on a bike or what kind of bike you're riding

In other words, to me Fred=poseur.
This is why I called my construction the traditional one. This is the newer and, in my opinion, backwards one.
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Old 01-05-17, 09:17 AM
  #49  
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I consider myself a Fred, and am proud of it.
My NEWEST bike is already over 30 years old, and I don't care. 23 pounds is plenty light!
I don't need indexed shifting - I've survived 45 years on a friction-shifting 'ten speed' without it.
I don't see the need for cleats on my shoes - I wear cross-training athletic shoes or work shoes.
I see no need to dress like a MAMIL (Middle Aged Male In Lycra) when I ride. I wear hiking shorts with pockets. I wear a neon-colored t-shirt. Sometimes a reflective safety vest if riding near sunrise/sunset. Old-school crochet-back gloves.
My commuting bike has fenders and a rear rack to hold my work clothes. Commuter bike weighs in at 33 pounds including tools, fenders and rack.
I ALWAYS carry my toolkit and flat repair items - including a pump (not CO2)
I use a rear blinky light. I use a flashing front light, too! Yes, I use both in the daytime!
I STOP at stop signs and traffic lights.
I could care less about Strava times. I measure my speed using my watch.

Hmmmm.... I see a trend here -- Freds don't care, they just ride.
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Old 01-05-17, 09:21 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I consider myself a Fred, and am proud of it.
My NEWEST bike is already over 30 years old, and I don't care. 23 pounds is plenty light!
I don't need indexed shifting - I've survived 45 years on a 'ten speed' without it.
I don't see the need for cleats on my shoes - I wear cross-training athletic shoes or work shoes.
I see no need to dress like a MAMIL (Middle Aged Male In Lycra) when I ride. I wear hiking shorts with pockets. I wear a neon-colored t-shirt. Sometimes a reflective safety vest if riding near sunrise/sunset. Old-school crochet-back gloves.
My commuting bike has fenders and a rear rack to hold my work clothes. Commuter bike weighs in at 33 pounds including tools, fenders and rack.
I ALWAYS carry my toolkit and flat repair items - including a pump (not CO2)
I use a rear blinky light. I use a flashing front light, too! Yes, I use both in the daytime!
I STOP at stop signs and traffic lights.
I could care less about Strava times. I measure my speed using my watch.

Hmmmm.... I see a trend here -- Freds don't care, they just ride.

Fredness confirmed!


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